The Picturesque Canada House And It’s 7 Surprising Facts

The Canada House is sure to be up for discussion for its enormous history and fascinating architectural features if you’re talking about the amazing countries in the world and their beautiful, quaint heritage sites. Not just that, It is a home away from home to the Canadian High Commission in London.

They say, Architecture is a visual art and that the Buildings speak for themselves, so it is in the case of The Canada House. This marvelous architectural beauty houses not just the precise designing details but also a couple of facts that you may or may not have heard of.

Without wasting much of our time, let’s dive right in and discover the unknown.

7 Facts About The Canada House You Probably Didn’t Know

 

FACT 1: The Construction of Canada House

An Illustration from the time of the renovation of Canada House.

Built between 1824-1827, this architectural treasure is based on the designs suggested by Sir Robert Smirke, a highly acknowledged Architect of the British Museum. Located in London’s ever swarming Trafalgar Square, also known as “The Heart of London,” The Canada House is a distinctive symbol of Canadian Interests in Britain and was officially first opened in 1925.

Originally The Canada House was built into two different buildings: The Union Club and the other by The Royal College of Physicians. It took him a year to find the right site, but in 1923, The High Commissioner Peter Charles Larkin settled over The Union Club on the Western Side of the Trafalgar Square for a whooping £223,000.

High Commissioner Peter Charles Larkin envisioned the possibility of unifying 200 Canadian Employees under a single building, who were scattered in several offices on Victoria Street. It was a tedious task to do but a greater accomplishment in benefitting the Canadians residing in London.

Extremely expensive and exquisite materials were used for renovations, Artistic Canadian Furniture was imported, the main entrance was moved from Trafalgar Square to Cockspur Street. All summing up to a renovation cost of $1.3 million CDN. It was officially opened by King George V in 1925. An assortment of High dukes, Kings and, other dignitaries attended this lavish opening ceremony.

Decades followed, and The Canada House saw The Depression, A Trade Boom, A World War, and time kept flying away, making the bond Between UK and Canada well blossomed. They Fought the wars shoulder to shoulder and got past difficult times together.

Keeping in mind all the support and active participation of Canada in the affairs of The United Kingdom, its presence there became more renounced and led to the expansion of Canada in The United Kingdom. This is how the unification of The Royal College of Physicians and the Union Club took place.

Now that the Canada House is almost around its 100th Birthday in The United Kingdom, there’s more to what advancements that may be made shortly.

FACT 2: The Blitz & The House of Canada

An Image from the time of The London Blitz.

During The Blitz (A German Bombing Campaign), that was planned against The United Kingdom. It so happened that while the attacks took place in London, a bomb fell near The Canada House just at a distance of 20 yards (18 m) with the Future Prime Minister Lester B Pearson, who was serving as the secretary to the High Commissioner at the time there.

The Canada House suffered no casualties of any sort. However, In 1933, The Canadian Government decided to shut the Canada House as a cost-cutting measure and intended to sell it. But a Change in the Government occurred, and the decision was reversed anyway.

Renovations were planned again and were put into action around the year 1997. To commemorate the re-opening, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry was called for and mounted at The Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace.

QUICK FACT: To Know more about the London Blitz and the casualties that occurred at the time in detail, tap on the link specified” The Blitz.”

FACT 3: Re-opening of Canada House for the Diamond Jubilee

All Esteemed Guests and Dignitaries during the Thames Diamond Jubilee on 3rd June 2012.

After being closed in 2010, The Canada House was re-opened again in 2012 for The Diamond Jubilee and served as The Olympic House for The 2012 Olympics in London. It was a huge international event that bought back the glory of the building. From 2013 to date, a part of The Canada House still serves as the Headquarters to the Department of Culture Media & Sport.

QUICK FACT: The 2012 Summer Olympics was hosted by London and was centered around the Olympic Park in East London. Visit the website Olympic.org to know more about the Olympics, its events, and the winners in detail!

After transferring all of their diplomatic activities to The Canada House in 2014, The High Commission decided to officially carry out the re-opening of The Canada House yet again at the hands of The Queen & The Duke of Edinburgh on 19 February 2015.

FACT 4: The Current Functions of the Canada House

A picture of The Canada House as viewed from Trafalgar Square.

As stated above, The Canada House is a home in London to the High Commission of Canada in The United Kingdom. These Diplomatic activities include the renewal of passport, application for emergency assistance, application for a visitor’s visa, application for a study permit, application of a work permit, immigration processing services, a military liaison office, trade office, political offices, public affairs section and much more, and all for the benefit of the Canadians living in the United Kingdom.

The Canada House is also used for other social purposes like special events, hosting conferences, receptions, lectures, and lunches. With all that information gained, we can most definitely conclude that The Canada House is a lot more than just an architectural artifact.

 

FACT 5: The Secret Art Collection, Canada House

Artworks hanging from the main staircase of the Canada House.

 

The artwork on the walls of The Canada House.

Odds are, you’ve walked past this enormous beauty and failed to have noticed it. So here’s a glimpse of the same. A subtle hint of maple leaves fluttering from their flanks and a gorgeous backdrop with the Canada House in it sure does make for a breathtaking sight.

But The Canada House is more than what it looks like. It is an epitome of art inside out. With being the House for The High Commission of Canada in the UK, It also has a vast collection of secret art pieces stashed within, and the best part is, you can visit for free.

This Collection holds at least 300 art pieces by at least 270 artists and artisans, and what’s more fascinating is the fact that out of those 300 pieces, around 298 are from Canada. So, if you’re a Canadian reading this, you know you belong to a proud Artistic Country.

Art is everywhere. Be it the walls, the ceilings, or even the floor, everything around there holds an artistic touch, which makes it even more happening. Some of the notable pieces are

What is more, to be appreciated than the Artwork itself is the amount of effort and hard work that is actually put into each room and how it has a life of its own. This corner of Canadian Culture is as beautiful as The National Gallery, and every Art Lover living in or around London should definitely not miss the opportunity of seeing it. Some of the notable works in The Canada House are

Canadian Forests photographed by               Andrew Wright.

 

Whispers & Grey Flannel by Laura Harris

 

Streets With Stories By Sarah Martin.

FACT 6: The Queen Elizabeth Atrium of The Canada House

An image of The Queen Elizabeth Atrium.

The Atrium is built so gorgeously that it acts as a beacon of light to the heart of the building, making it an apt visual meeting area for the High Commission. The Cascading Staircase brings this design together and allows daylight, and gives a clear view of the people above.

To honor Her Majesty for her tireless efforts at restoring this Gorgeous beauty and for protecting the Canadian Heritage, this place is named after her as “The Queen Elizabeth Atrium.” Not just this specific part of the building, but The Canada House is home to 230 High Commission Staff.

With a ton of social, aristocratic, and historical events frequently taking place in The Canada House, The Canadian culture & heritage is preserved. London Architecture’s economic and social value is enhanced, thereby keeping both the countries at a profit.

If you are looking for more on travel situations during the pandemic in Canada, visit The Government of Canada’s official outbreak page.

You can also view reviews from other people on their visits at What you need to know before you go to the Canada House.

FACT 7: The Little Canada Neighborhood.

1.The Trafalgar Square:

When you look at The Trafalgar Square or the Nelson Monument, the fountains there seem like they’ve been there forever. For a fact, that isn’t true. These fountains were later added as a part of the plan in order to break open public spaces when called for demonstrations or other large public gatherings.

These Fountains run on steam engines and are controlled at The National Gallery. The First Fountains that were ever used were taken up from a fund acquired by the National Art Collection and were then moved to Ottowa and Regina.

2. The Canada Club:

The Canada Club was found in 1810 by a set of Canadian fur traders who held regular meetings, dinners, and debates annually at The Savoy Hotel every year except for the period during World War II.

3.Canadian Pacific Building:

Situated right across the corner from The Canada House is the Canadian Pacific Building and is one of the only two clocks that overlook Trafalgar square.

4. The Warwick House:

A little further ahead from the Pall Mall is the Warwick House, where the   Grand Turk Railway Building is situated. This railway network spans 32,000kms of the track, including 80 warehouses and distribution facilities.

5.Canada Gate:

As a memorial to Queen Victoria, the Canada Gate was presented in 1905 and is situated across the Buckingham Palace. It is built-in iron between two Portland Stone Pillars.

6.Canada War Memorial:

Also situated in Green Park, The Canada War Memorial was unveiled by the Queen herself in 1994 as a tribute to the Canadians who served during World War II.

With all that being said, The Canada House is one of the most exquisite architectural remnants with tons of good art. It is one of the finest creations in the city and is a must-visit destination for art lovers and architecture enthusiasts.

If you are around the city and are planning on taking a visit, The Canada Gallery is open to the public from Monday-Saturday between 11:00 to 17:45. Taking the guided tour will allow you to have access to some of the most beautiful rooms on the building’s diplomatic side.

To take one of these tours, you must register individually through an external website. Since the tours are top-rated, bookings must be made well in advance to have a confirmed free spot. Proper Security checks are organized at each phase to ensure swift and safe movement.

It is one of the most significant tourist hotspots; therefore, finding a hotel room to rent or a good restaurant to eat is the least of an individual’s concerns. Nothing is more exciting than witnessing history from a time we probably didn’t even exist.

In response to the Corona Virus Outbreak, The High Commission has ensured proper arrangements to protect the visitor’s health and welfare and to make their trip a memorable one. Have a Good Time!

 

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